Seth MacFarlane Is Spot-On About Sanders & Trump

by Emily Shire

Although he's best known as the creator of Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane wears many hats. He's a Grammy-nominated jazz singer, the former semi-secret boyfriend of Emilia Clarke, and, apparently, a bipartisan political sage? Admittedly, that last one may be a stretch, but MacFarlane recently dropped a heavy dose of electoral knowledge on us. On Thursday, he offered up remarkably astute and critical observations of both the right and the left — even though MacFarlane has already endorsed Bernie Sanders and has campaigned for the Vermont senator. He also analyzed how we arrived at the circus that is the Donald Trump 2016 run for the White House in a surprisingly convincing and succinct way.

During an interview Thursday night on Seattle's KIRO Radio 97.3 FM The Jason Rantz Show, MacFarlane was asked about feeling the Bern. Instead of making starry-eyed proclamations about the coming "Revolution," MacFarlane actually used the opportunity to criticize some of Sanders' supporters. "I actually am one of the people who has been a little disappointed at the way that, not necessarily the campaign, the supporters of the campaign have treated Hillary," MacFarlane told Rantz. While he didn't go into specifics, he added that "I think she's been treated a little harshly by the left."

The fact that MacFarlane demurred from the typical celebrity stumping to actual say something mildly substantive and critical of his own chosen candidate's campaign (or, really, his supporters) was refreshing. Political pundits and the candidates themselves rarely show such admirable self-scrutiny. After a week where Clinton and Sanders traded barbs about who was "qualified" rather than discuss policies — which didn't even compare to months of Republican candidates making schoolyard taunts about, among other things, their penises — MacFarlane was nothing short of inspiring at this point in the presidential race.

He also showed a remarkable amount of clarity about the rise of Trump. He assessed why the reality TV's star has wooed voters without simply relying on claims that his supports are dumb, racist, or both (word to the wise: Calling Trump supporters these things only confirms their belief that Trump is the candidate who understands them and will serve them best). MacFarlane was adamant that, "This is a guy who is the result of a lot of bigotry gone wild."

However, he also brought up that Trump's appeal was partially a reaction to problems on the left. "On the other hand, my side, the left, has gotten a little unreasonable when it comes to separating the trivial from the profound," he said. He brought up how Justine Sacco was ripped apart for infamously tweeting a joke about AIDS. He suggested that the incident showed an intolerance for freedom of speech, coming from the left — and he worried that such intolerance was driving people to the right and, specifically, to Trump. "There are things that are truly infringements of rights and things that truly count as profound injustices and there are things that just kind of piss you off but you've got to get over it ... They're not the same. And the problem is if we don't pick our battles, then we look unreasonable."

MacFarlane then added:

I think that's part of where Trump has come from because we have not been able to separate things that are injustices from things that we're just offended by. And it's troubling.

Believe it or not, maybe if people on both sides of the aisle took a little bit of the Ted director's advice, this election would be saner.